The Australian Children’s Theatre Foundation

The Australian Children’s Theatre was created by sisters Joan and Betty Rayner in 1948. Joan and Betty were seasoned performers, touring across Australia and the world. Countless Australian children were introduced to the pleasures of live theatre by attending the widely acclaimed drama, music, mime and puppet productions of the Australian Children’s Theatre. The performances were always lively, engaging and uplifting; and did much to build bridges of love and understanding between people from different cultures and traditions. The Australian Children’s Theatre also enabled outstanding international artists and companies to perform to delighted audiences in Australia.

Joan Rayner established the Australian Children’s Theatre Foundation (ACTF) to keep alive the aims of the Australian Children’s Theatre.

The Objectives of the ACTF are:

  • To enable high quality performing companies and individuals to perform for disadvantaged Victorian Government primary school aged children in their schools and other appropriate venues; 
  • To foster love and understanding between people of different countries and cultures; and 
  • To promote the enjoyment, knowledge and appreciation of the arts through theatre to disadvantaged students of Victorian Government primary schools. 

The Work of the ACTF

The ACTF is a proud partner of Regional Arts Victoria’s Arts & Education program and supports schools across Victoria to access to the program. The Foundation provides subsidies of up to 75% for schools affected by low socio-economic circumstances; remoteness; high numbers of students for whom English is not their first language; bushfire or other disaster; and schools with specific learning needs. To see if your school is eligible please complete a 2023 Arts & Education Program Booking Enquiry form here.

ACTF plays a key role in the development of the Theatre for Young Audiences sector in Victoria by offering a bi-annual $20,000 Commission for the development of a new work, as well as a newly created bi-annual $20,000 Fellowship which will support the development of an artists’ artistic practice.

Applications for the 2023 Commission have now closed.

Applications for the 2024 Fellowship will open in the second half of 2023. Sign up to our ENews to be notified when applications open.

  • Find out more about the ACTF Commission here
  • Find out more about the ACTF Fellowship here.

The Australian Children’s Theatre Foundation is proudly supported by: